One might wonder if King Kong, the famous monster living only in Hollywood land, is inspired by an actual prehistoric animal. The short answer is no, but there might be a case for his real-world lineage.
King Kong is a giant gorilla. Depending on your version, the size varies from 6 to over 100 meters.
At least in four films: the original, Dino DeLaurentis’ remake along with a sequel, and Peter Jackson’s renditions, the monster stands at 9 meters tall and weighs 30 tons.
In the latest 2021 reboot, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” the gorilla-like creature is an even more terrifyingly imposing figure, standing at nearly 103 meters.
King King’s origins also differ from one film to another. The reality is that such a monster couldn’t possibly exist.
The largest extant ape species is the Gigantopithecus, weighing around 170 – 300 kilograms; the smallest King Kong is more giant. The species was only about twice as big as a present-day gorilla.
Gigantopithecus remains a scientific puzzle due to limited fossils discovery; the size is estimated based on the remains of their teeth and jaws.
10 /10 Dragon Teeth
At this point, scientists know very little about the giant ape. The first clue of their existence came about in 1935 when Gustav von Koenigswald, a German paleontologist, noticed the presence of some unusual molars in a Chinese pharmacy.
The molars attracted his attention as they were labeled “dragon teeth.” Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe the teeth have some healing properties.
Research for the species took off, and since then, dozens of scientists have discovered partial jaws and teeth across Asia.
9 /10 Too Big To Survive
One of the main reasons that King Kong could not exist was the size. Gigantopithecus, whose size has been estimated at around 3 meters and 270 kilograms, died out because there were very few dietary options to fulfill their hunger.
Scientists’ best guess indicated that the giant apes were herbivores, and the fruits and leaves wouldn’t be enough to satisfy their appetite.
As their forest habitats shrank during the Middle Pleistocene era, they lost access to food resources, couldn’t reproduce, and went extinct.